Madurai

Lockdown sees more number of children being surrendered to adoption agencies

A total of 11 children have been surrendered to special adoption agencies in Madurai district during the COVID-19 lockdown since March 2020.

Representatives from the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and the adoption agencies say that the numbers were higher compared to previous year.

Chairman of CWC, Madurai district, K. Vijayasaravanan, says that a major reason cited by parents when they surrender children was loss of livelihood due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Giving an instance, he said that one of the children admitted to a adoption agency was a four-day-old girl child who was surrendered by her parents at the primary health centre in T. Ramanathapuram which is part of Elumalai block on Thursday. The parents said they already had girl children to look after.

According to a data accessed by The Hindu, the children surrendered to the two special adoption agencies in the district- Grace Kennett Hospital and Claretian Mercy Home- include seven girls and four boys.

Apart from this, another 11 children have been admitted to these two special adoption agencies under the category of ‘Children in Need for Care and Protection’ (CNCP) by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC). These include children who have been abused, illegally adopted, rescued or abandoned. “The total number of children given to these agencies during this period is 22,” the Chairman said.

Director of Claretian Mercy Home, Jose Pitchai, says that many persons who surrender their children or abandon them already have one or two other children. “Caring for a third child is one of the reasons for giving them up. This is especially true this year [2020] as many people have lost their jobs and are unable to provide food or care for their children,” he says. He adds that children born out of premarital and extramarital relationships are another major reason for surrendering or abandonment.

He too says that there has been a rise in the number of children who have been surrendered or abandoned in 2020 in comparison to the same period in 2019.

Dr. Vijayasaravanan says that in case there are more parents who wish to give up their children, the agencies were more than willing to accommodate them in their homes. “This is much better for the child than illegal adoption or infanticide,” he says. The department can also help some families get monthly groceries or jobs if they are interested, he adds.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2020 7:22:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/lockdown-sees-more-number-of-children-being-surrendered-to-adoption-agencies/article32297632.ece

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